0517-14 New York Times Crossword Answers 17 May 14, Saturday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Brad Wilber
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 24m 13s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

9. “Our Town” family : WEBBS
“Our Town” is a play by Thornton Wilder, first performed in 1938. Wilder won a Pulitzer for the work. “Our Town” was actually banned by the Soviet authorities in East Berlin in 1946. Their reasoning was that “the drama was too depressing and could inspire a German suicide wave”.

15. Eponym for a day of the week : SATURN
The term “Saturday” comes from “dies Saturni”, which was the Ancient Roman “day of Saturn”.

17. Where Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” premiered : PRAGUE
The beautiful city of Prague is today the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague’s prominence in Europe has come and gone over the centuries. For many years the city was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire.

18. Infamous settler on Galveston Island, 1817 : LAFITTE
“Don Giovanni” is a comic opera by Mozart, with the libretto in Italian by Lorenzo Da Ponte. The opera follows the adventures of Don Giovanni, a young rakish nobleman who finally comes to a bad end.

19. Fail at stoicism, say : CRY
Someone who is “stoic” is indifferent to pleasure or pain, is relatively impassive.

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). And yes, we get our adjective “stoic” from the same root.

20. Dating inits. : BCE
The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

21. Result of pushing too hard? : TILT
In a game of pinball, some players get an irresistible urge to “nudge” the machine . Such a nudge, a movement of the machine designed to influence the path taken by the ball, is called a “tilt”. Most pinball machines have sensors designed to detect a tilt, and when activated a “tilt” warning light comes on and the player’s controls are temporarily disabled.

22. Revlon brand : ALMAY
The Amlay brand of cosmetics was established back in 1931. Almay was founded by Alfred and Fanny May Woititz, who melded their given names to come up with the brand name (Al-may). The couple were driven to invent the products as Fanny May needed cosmetics that did not irritate her skin.

27. Domain name element : COM
The .com domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

– .com (commercial enterprise)
– .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
– .mil (US military)
– .org (not-for-profit organization)
– .gov (US federal government entity)
– .edu (college-level educational institution)

28. Tree-dweller that sleeps 20 or so hours a day : KOALA
The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

29. Recipe for KFC chicken, e.g. : TRADE SECRET
The famous “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a “Colonel”, Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a “character” had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel”. Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.

32. Italian artist with the largest painting in the Louvre : PAOLO VERONESE
Paolo Veronese was a Renaissance painter from the Italian city of Verona (hence his name “Veronese”). Veronese is most famous for his paintings “The Wedding at Cana” and “The Feast at the House of Levi”. “The Wedding at Cana” is a massive work, measuring over 21 x 32 feet in size. It has the honor of being the largest painting in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

35. “Guys and Dolls” number that ends with the rolling of dice : LUCK BE A LADY
“Luck Be a Lady” is a song written by Frank Loesser for his Broadway musical “Guys and Dolls” that premiered in 1950. Some years later, “Luck Be a Lady” became a signature song for Frank Sinatra.

“Guys and Dolls” is a musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. It was first produced on Broadway, in 1950, and ran for 1200 performances. The show was based on a book written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. “Guys and Dolls” was chosen as winner of a Pulitzer in 1951, but the award was cancelled as Abe Burrows was having problems with the House Un-American Activities Committee at the time.

37. Umpire’s call : LET
An umpire might call “let” in a game of tennis.

38. “Bonanza” brother : ADAM
On the TV show “Bonanza”, the character named Adam was one one of the Cartwright sons, the others being Hoss and Little Joe. Adam was played by actor Pernell Roberts.

The western TV series “Bonanza” ran for 14 seasons, making it the second longest running western show on television (after “Gunsmoke”, which ran for 20 seasons).

42. Like poodle hair : WIRY
The standard Poodle breed of dog is considered to be the second most intelligent breed, after the Border Collie. The name “poodle” comes from a Low German word meaning “to splash about”, reflecting the original use of the breed as a water retriever.

43. “The Marshall Mathers LP” co-producer : DR DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

Rap star Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers, a native of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Mathers grew up poor, raised by a single-mom as the family was abandoned by his father when he was 18 months old. Marshall and his mother moved around the country before settling in a suburb of Detroit. He didn’t do well at school, and dropped out at the age of 17. But in the end he made it pretty big …

45. Home of Utah Valley University : OREM
Orem, Utah was originally known as “Sharon” (a Biblical name), then “Provo Bench”, and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator called “Orem”. Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and sure enough in 2010, “Forbes” rated Orem the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.

47. Parlor with simulcasts, briefly : OTB
Off-Track Betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.

48. Seabiscuit, notably : BAY
Bay is a reddish-brown color, usually used to describe the coat of a horse.

The 2003 hit movie “Seabiscuit” is based on a best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand called “Seabiscuit: An American Legend”. The horse Seabiscuit was sired by a horse called Hard Tack, and “hard tack” is type of biscuit eaten by sailors at sea in days of yore.

51. Cousin of a zombie : MAI TAI
The Mai Tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum.

A Zombie is an unusually strong cocktail, with a deceptively mild taste. It was invented in the late thirties by Donn Beach, owner of the Don the Beachcomber restaurant in Hollywood. Apparently Beach created the drink for a friend who consumed three of them right before taking a flight from L.A. to San Francisco. When he returned he complained that the drinks had “turned him into a zombie” for the trip, giving the drink its name. If you dare, one recipe is:

– 1 part white rum
– 1 part golden rum
– 1 part dark rum
– 1 part apricot brandy
– 1 part papaya juice
– 1/2 part 151-proof rum
– 1 dash of grenadine

54. Composers Bruckner and Webern : ANTONS
Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer, not a favorite of mine as he embraces the use of dissonances (I’m a sober traditionalist!). Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 is perhaps his most popular work. He created a slow and mournful movement for the work in recognition of the impending death of Richard Wagner, whom he greatly admired.

Anton Webern was a composer and conductor from Austria. In his compositions, Webern used the twelve-tone technique devised by Arnold Schoenberg, which means that I find his music a tad difficult to appreciate …

56. Anthem singers at the closing ceremony of the Salt Lake City Olympics : ‘N SYNC
‘N Sync was a boy band from Orlando, Florida that was formed in 1995. The name of the group came from a comment by the mother of band member Justin Timberlake, who said the boys voices sounded “in sync”. But, it’s also true that the letters of the name ‘N Sync are the last letters of the given names of the five band members:

– Justin Timberlake
– Chris Kirkpatrick
– Joey Fatone
– Lance “Lansten” Bass
– JC Chasez

Down
1. Denali National Park sits on one : FAULT
Denali means “the high one” in the native Athabaskan language, and is now the name used for Mount McKinley. I was surprised to learn that there is a Denali State Park, as well as the Denali National Park. The two are located adjacent to each other (which makes sense!). The State Park is undeveloped for all practical purposes, with just a few campgrounds and trailheads.

2. One who puts others to sleep? : AU PAIR
An “au pair” is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.

5. ___ du jour : PLAT
“Plat du jour” in a French restaurant is literally “dish of the day”, today’s special.

6. Trunk line : AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

7. Once-common desert fighting force : CAMEL CAVALRY
Armed forces who used camels as transportation were known cas camelry or camel cavalry. According to lore, the smell of the camels spooked any horses who were in the opposing forces.

8. There are three in an inning : ENS
There are three letters N in the word “inning”.

10. Air ticket info : ETA
Expected time of arrival (ETA)

11. Sources of chronic annoyance : BUGBEARS
A bugbear is a character from English folklore, a goblin in the form of a bear who was said to eat naughty children. Our contemporary bugbear is less scary and is simply something that is annoying or irritating.

12. Many watch his movies for kicks : BRUCE LEE
Bruce Lee was born not far from here in San Francisco although he was raised in Hong Kong, returning to the US to attend college. Sadly, Bruce Lee died when he was only 32 years old, due to cerebral edema (a swelling of the brain) attributed to adverse reactions to the pain killing drug Equagesic.

24. Number of signos del zodiaco : DOCE
In Spanish, there are twelve (doce) signs of the zodiac (signos del zodiaco).

26. Ballistics test units: Abbr. : FT-LBS
A foot-pound is a unit of work or energy. One foot-pound is the energy expended in applying a force of one pound-force through a distance of one foot.

28. Country whose currency is the shilling : KENYA
The shilling is the currency of Kenya, having replaced the East African shilling in 1966. Kenya adopted a new constitution in 2010, and one of its provision is that the country’s currency can no longer bear the portrait of any individual.

30. Tommy of 1960s pop : ROE
The singer-songwriter Tommy Roe was known as one of the “bubblegum artists” in the late sixties. Roe’s biggest hits were “Sheila” in 1962, and “Dizzy” in 1969.

35. Classic Doors song in which Jim Morrison refers to himself anagrammatically as “Mr. Mojo Risin'” : LA WOMAN
Jim Morrison was the lead singer for the Doors. Famously, Morrison died at only 27 years of age in Paris. It is thought that his dependence on hard drugs contributed to his demise, although this is disputed. Morrison’s grave site is one of the most-visited attractions in Paris. Morrison was also known as “Mr. Mojo Risin'”, which is an anagram of “Jim Morrison”. “Mr. Mojo Risin’” is also a repeated lyric in the Doors hit “L.A. Woman”.

41. River crossed by a ferry in a 1965 top 10 hit : MERSEY
The River Mersey in the northwest of England runs through the city of Liverpool. The river gave its name to the musical genre of “Merseybeat” which was exemplified by the Beatles, the most famous of the bands from Liverpool. The best known song to feature the river is the Gerry and the Pacemakers hit “Ferry Cross the Mersey”.

43. Recitation station : DAIS
Ultimately our word “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that many a dias was disc-shaped …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Gallop : FAST PACE
9. “Our Town” family : WEBBS
14. Three- to six-year financial commitment, usually : AUTO LOAN
15. Eponym for a day of the week : SATURN
16. Livid : UP IN ARMS
17. Where Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” premiered : PRAGUE
18. Infamous settler on Galveston Island, 1817 : LAFITTE
19. Fail at stoicism, say : CRY
20. Dating inits. : BCE
21. Result of pushing too hard? : TILT
22. Revlon brand : ALMAY
24. Road sign silhouette : DEER
25. Natural barrier : REEF
27. Domain name element : COM
28. Tree-dweller that sleeps 20 or so hours a day : KOALA
29. Recipe for KFC chicken, e.g. : TRADE SECRET
32. Italian artist with the largest painting in the Louvre : PAOLO VERONESE
35. “Guys and Dolls” number that ends with the rolling of dice : LUCK BE A LADY
36. Gray ones spark debate : AREAS
37. Umpire’s call : LET
38. “Bonanza” brother : ADAM
42. Like poodle hair : WIRY
43. “The Marshall Mathers LP” co-producer : DR DRE
45. Home of Utah Valley University : OREM
47. Parlor with simulcasts, briefly : OTB
48. Seabiscuit, notably : BAY
49. Urge : IMPLORE
51. Cousin of a zombie : MAI TAI
53. It’s often canned : APPLAUSE
54. Composers Bruckner and Webern : ANTONS
55. Couldn’t keep cool : GOT UPSET
56. Anthem singers at the closing ceremony of the Salt Lake City Olympics : ‘N SYNC
57. Lengthy undertakings : ODYSSEYS

Down
1. Denali National Park sits on one : FAULT
2. One who puts others to sleep? : AU PAIR
3. Suppress : STIFLE
4. Show time, in some ads : TONITE
5. ___ du jour : PLAT
6. Trunk line : AORTA
7. Once-common desert fighting force : CAMEL CAVALRY
8. There are three in an inning : ENS
9. Not easily taken : WARY
10. Air ticket info : ETA
11. Sources of chronic annoyance : BUGBEARS
12. Many watch his movies for kicks : BRUCE LEE
13. Run down : SNEER AT
15. Quick : SPRY
19. Stand for a photo : CAMERA TRIPOD
23. Posed : MODELED
24. Number of signos del zodiaco : DOCE
26. Ballistics test units: Abbr. : FT-LBS
28. Country whose currency is the shilling : KENYA
30. Tommy of 1960s pop : ROE
31. Stuff sold in rolls : SOD
32. Group living at zero latitude? : PURITANS
33. Tartness : ACERBITY
34. Allow : OKAY
35. Classic Doors song in which Jim Morrison refers to himself anagrammatically as “Mr. Mojo Risin'” : LA WOMAN
39. Exercise in a pool, say : DO LAPS
40. Kindle : AROUSE
41. River crossed by a ferry in a 1965 top 10 hit : MERSEY
43. Recitation station : DAIS
44. It’s dangerous to run on : EMPTY
46. Touches : MEETS
48. French seat : BANC
50. “As if that weren’t enough …” : PLUS …
52. Slew : TON
53. Opposite of hence : AGO

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